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Astronauts Prepare to Practice Launch



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC 0- AMSAT A/C #31468

*Astronauts Prepare to Practice Launch*
9 October 2007

Members of the STS-120 crew met with media representatives Tuesday 
morning in front of Launch Pad 39A where Discovery is set to liftoff on 
the next mission to the International Space Station.

  Image at Right: STS-120 Commander Pam Melroy addresses members of the 
media at Launch Pad 39A. Image credit: NASA
+ View larger image 
<http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/170419main__DSC0039.JPG>

"It should be a really exciting mission," said Commander Pam Melroy. 
"But I think one of the most exciting parts of it is the fact that we're 
going to be getting ready to open the gateway to international 
laboratories. So we're very proud of our part in building the 
International Space Station."

The crew will deliver the Italian-built U.S. Harmony module, which will 
serve as the future connecting point between the U.S. Destiny lab, the 
European Space Agency's Columbus module and the Japanese Kibo module.

The seven crew members flew Sunday to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 
Florida for this week's launch dress rehearsal activities in which they 
join ground crews in a simulated countdown and various training exercises.

When the launch rehearsal concludes on Wednesday, the astronauts will 
return to their home base in Houston to complete their final 
preparations for the targeted launch of Discovery on Oct. 23.

*Mission Information*
+ STS-120 Mission Overview 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts120/index.html>
+ Harmony Node 2 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/behindscenes/harmony_payload.html> 

+ Space Shuttle Discovery 
<http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/discovery-info.html>
----
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